10-04-97 .................To Hope or Despair..........SFBC

by Ronald George Jr.

Scripture Text: John 20:19-23(NIV) On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

What is this Hope?(to anticipate, usually with pleasure);1) expectation of evil, fear 2) expectation of good, hope 2a1) joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation

I. A Picture of Hopelessness or Despair.

The Disciples without Jesus. They had forsaken Him, denied Him, and given Him over to the authorities.

They were a class without a teacher and a family with out a leader. They had allowed their Lord, teacher, and Friend to be brutally murdered. They had no reason to live. They had nothing to live for. They had no where to go. They had nothing to do.

They lived in fear Until He came .

II. A Picture of Hope .

Can you see the Disciples after the resurrection and the appearance of Jesus in their midst?

Dr. Carl F. Henry, one of America's leading contemporary theologians, said of Jesus, "He planted the only durable rumor of hope amid the widespread despair of a hopeless world."

Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.

1Pet 1:3 (KJS) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {abundant: Gr. much} 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, {for you: or, for us} 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

A. A Hope for Being. Why Am I here?

Eternal Assurance that I am here for the Lord and He is here for me. I have a home in heaven. V.31 I have eternal Life in Jesus Christ .

John 20:31 (KJS) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

I am here for Him.

B. A Hope for Living. What Am I Living for?

Titu 2:11 (KJS) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

I have a reason to live. I have been sent by the Lord to do the work of God.

Looking for that Blessed Hope. I have someone to live for when no one is left around.

C. A Hope for Serving . Why am I serving God?

What are we serving God for? Why am I coming to this church to give my Time, talent , and Money?

Ephe 3:20 (KJS) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

What is our Hope in the Church? What is our dream? Would you dare to dream?